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Innisbrook Resort - Island Course Review

Texas Outside Rating: 8.9

Golf - Resort Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
Palm Harbor, FL
Website
Date Last Played: March 07, 2012

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Innisbrook Resort - Island Course Review

Innisbrook Resort is home to some great golf stay and play accommodations, excellent dining options, and lots of fun amenities (like tennis courts, pools, racquetball, a Spa, fitness center, and more), but best of all it has four outstanding golf courses.  

Each of the four courses is very different from the others and each has it’s own unique personality and characteristics, for example:

  • the Copperhead Course is probably the best known thanks to the PGA Tour’s Transitions Championship Tournament that attracts some of the best golfers each year – but it also has excellent conditions, some very fun holes, and a few holes that are very challenging – here is a link to our review of the Copperhead Course
  • the Island Course is regarded as the toughest of the four courses thanks to some narrow fairways, strategically placed bunkers, and lots of water on the front nine
  • the North Course is a short but a real shot makers course that requires good course management skills, favors accuracy over distance, and requires some precision shots to score well - here is a link to the North Course
  • the South Course is the easiest of the nines but it’s no walk in the park thanks to 10 holes and lots of bunkers – read our review of the South Course to learn more

If you ask anyone who has played all four courses at Innisbrook, the typical response is the Island and Copperhead Courses are the favorites.  Part of what makes playing the Island Course at Innisbrook fun is that each nine is very different and gives you lots of variety and shot making opportunities.  The front is very scenic and has water on 6 holes, tree lined fairways, and requires accuracy from tee to green – you can’t get away with an errant shot on this nine.  The back seems a little more open, plays through some beautiful homes, and has several holes with elevation changes. 

The Island Course is long from each of the tee boxes and has some very long par fours that can be challenging for us short hitters – so don’t bite off more than you can chew.  And in several cases you may want to leave the big dog in the bag and play strategically.

Each of the holes on the Island Course is appropriately named and the name will give you an idea of what to expect, for example:

  • Right Turn - #1 is a 405 yard par four that takes a 90 degree turn right along a narrow fairway lined with water on both sides plus a couple bunkers – you best be accurate off the tee to not overshoot the fairway, stay out of the water on the right, and get  past the big trees blocking the approach
  • Lone Cypress – on this 205 yard par 3 you need to be deadly accurate to carry the lake, miss the trees and two bunkers on the backside of the green, and fly or miss the tall cypress tree growing in the middle of a huge bunker in front of the green
  • Cypress Tunnel – as you might expect, this is a 430 yard straight ahead shot through a narrow tree lined fairway with that eerie gray Spanish moss hanging from the trees 
  • Double Cross – a fantastic hole with an elevated tee shot requiring a precise drive (leave the driver in the bag) to a tad tight landing zone that slopes toward and ends in a lake which you need carry to a big green guarded by three bunkers and trees 
  • Uphill Intimidation (club up to make it up this long climb to the green), High Anxiety (a 230 carry over water to the green), and  Long and Lean (a 450 yard par 4)  are good descriptions of these three holes

The fairways on the front are all tree lined and range from grip it and rip it to tight and if you miss you’re in the water, trees, or sand.  The back seemed more open and forgiving and some huge beautiful homes line several of the holes and they can come into play if you spray the ball – I know, I ricocheted off two roofs in one shot and was expecting to get cursed out by an angry home owner. 

Innisbrook Resort’s Island fairways were in near perfect condition as were the roughs which are wide were cut just right and were very playable. 

The greens were all shapes and sizes and ranged from good sized to a little small.  They ran smooth and true and at a good speed.  Some are raised and most are well guarded. 

The bunkers varied from small to some huge monsters and most are strategically placed.  Some are steep and deep and the sand ranged from soft and fluffy to a little firm. 

Bottom line – the Island Course at Innisbrook Resort is a fantastic layout that is fair but demanding and a blast to play with excellent conditions and some fun, unique, and memorable holes.

You’ll want to play the Island Course a couple times and you should also play the other three courses, so why not stay a few days in one of the excellent lodging options at Innisbrook Resort. They have a great stay and play package, excellent restaurants, 6 pools, 3 bars, a spa, and lots of other recreational activities. Read our review of Innisbrook Golf Resort & Spa 

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Course Slope & Ratings

Tee Box Yardage Rating Slope
Gold 7,310 76.4 143
Blue 6,816 73.9 141
White 6,280 70.9 135
Red 5,515 72.9 128

Course Information

Course Architect:
Larry Packard
Greens Type:
Bermuda
Greens Condition
9.0
Greens Difficulty
8.8
Fairway Condition
9.5
Bunker Condition
8.5
GPS:
No
Walkable:
Yes
Beware of water on 9 holes and the 80 sand traps.

Texas Outside Rating

Overall Rating:
8.9 out of 10
Beauty:
8.5
Difficulty:
9.0
Variety:
8.8
Fun to Play:
9.0
Value:
8.8
Condition:
9.8
Front Nine Rating:
9.3
Back Nine Rating:
8.5
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FEES & AMENITIES

Approximate Weekend
Rates:
$100.00 to $220.00

Service is top notch from the bag boys to the pro shop guys to the starters and cart ladies. The practice facilities are excellent and I wish I had spent more time there. There three different club houses each of which have pro shops with everything you need to look good and score well plus three restaurants serving a variety of good food and three 19th holes to settle the bets and make plans to play again.

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Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating

The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this:  links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses! 
Texas Outside rates courses on the following:

  • Beauty – tall trees, rolling hills, beautiful houses, waterfalls, and similar stuff would score high; a 1 would be flat, bushes or cactus instead of trees, and some grass but mostly weeds
  • Difficulty – a straight, 300 yard par 4 with no traps or hazards, no out of bounds or water would probably get a 1; if it is a 460 yard par 4 over two ravines, with water along one side, natural hazards on the other, strategically placed traps or that dreaded tree right in the middle of the fairway, we are talking a 10. 
  • Variety – what would you give a course where all the holes looked and played exactly the same (“I thought we just played that hole!”); were side-by-side, which is good for finding or dodging other people’s balls, but not much fun; and you can see the flag from every tee box?  That’s right, it gets a 1.
  • Fun Scale – a 10 is where you walk off the course and say “now that was fun” and you can’t wait to get back, or you immediately turn around and play another 18 holes
  • Value – a 5 is $50 to $60, a 10 is $20 to $30, and 1 is $200 or so – of course all of this is dependent upon how you liked the course.  For example, if a run down, boring municipal course, with six players on each hole was only $10; it would still get a value rating of 1.
  • Condition – this one’s pretty easy – what condition are the fairways. A 10 commands very lush perfectly manicured fairways, compared to a 1, which has fire ants, weeds, and more dirt than grass!
  • Condition of Greens and Difficulty – very hard to read greens with lots of undulation and tough pin placement, rate very high on the difficulty scale.  Condition is self-explanatory.  

All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course.  In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40.  We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking.